Approximately 12 months ago, the name RC Chacon was splashed across the pages of this very magazine. Builder of a raw, boosted Civic that essentially broke the mold of overdone Civics that all too often carried more trinkets and overnight trends than true purity, he’s since made quite the name for himself. His performance shop, RC’s Garage, nestled in the heart of Phoenix’s booming import performance movement, is currently on the rise, and it’s no surprise that you’re seeing his name once again gracing the pages of HT.
Ironically, the sedan you’re looking at isn’t “technically” his car, though he’s lost track of the massive number of hours he’s spent working on it. Also lost in the shuffle is the exact dollar amount extracted from RC’s personal finances in order to bring the car to a finished state. In fact, along with the laundry list of parts that he can recite off the top of his head, the only thing RC hasn’t lost track of is his friendship with David Haynes, the car’s titleholder. RC adds, “David picked up the car and wanted me to help him build something decent, but he wasn’t much of Honda guy I guess you could say. He’d seen some K swaps online, and that’s basically all he wanted.” David managed to source a TSX longblock at a great price, and slowly started to stockpile the necessary pieces to make the swap happen. With a little momentum building, the parts pile made its way to the engine bay and before long, the 2.4L was ready to hang securely from its HaSport motor mounts, but the pair pulled back for a moment. RC states, “We started looking at options for the four-door. Turbo kits, wheels, lip kits, interior stuff, etc. We brainstormed all of these ideas with color schemes and whatnot. That’s pretty much the point we realized it might go from something very simple to something kind of extreme, lol!” Friend and bodywork expert Jeremy White took action on prepping the car for paint, while RC accompanied David to JDL Auto Design to discuss a custom turbo kit.
With the proverbial ball officially rolling, RC and David did the unthinkable, and installed the K24 in the middle of the day during one of Arizona’s infamous summer days. The sweltering desert heat did more than just draw buckets of sweat, it caused David to experience potential kidney failure and he was taken to the emergency room. “From there, I was sort of on my own building the car, so I hit up my friend Jose Chacon (unrelated) to help me out.” The duo got their hands dirty finishing up the final pieces of the initial portion of the build, then took the car to the paint booth where Terry Froelich carefully laid down a fresh coat of Horizon Grey paint. From the body shop, the car was dropped off with Jesse of JDL to build a custom one-off turbo kit specifically designed for the car.
If you’ve been mentally tallying up the cost associated with the swap, bodywork, and custom turbo kit, you’re probably wondering if the funds were ever going to stop pouring in on this build. In short: yes. RC adds, “His funds were running low and he was thinking about just ending the build, but there was no way I was going to let him give up. Some of the parts that he needed to finish I happened to have sitting in my shop, so I basically funded the rest of it myself. After all, he’s my best friend and I know he’d do the same for me.” With an end in sight, RC and Jose continued to work on the car both day and night. Meanwhile, David ran into more bad luck and began to lose interest in the sedan shortly after an injury that required surgery left him out of work. Talk of parting out the entire build began to surface, and this time RC wasn’t able to talk David off of the ledge. Fortunately, in the eleventh hour, David recovered well from surgery and landed a new job.
Now back on his feet, David is feeling the motivation once again, and is working with RC to map out a number of changes for 2012. When asked about the roller-coaster ride that landed yet another RC’s Garage creation on the cover of HT, RC states, “I’m just glad my best friend got better, landed a new job, and wants to continue this whole thing after it has come this far. It really doesn’t even matter who the car belongs to, we’re in it together. What does matter, though, is that two friends took a car that wasn’t supposed to be anything more than just a simple K-series swap and turned it into a badass 4-dr!”
What’s in a Name?
The name is fitting, simply because RC’s Garage actually started in, well, RC’s garage. He adds, “I started out working on friends’ and customers’ cars in my garage and backyard for about three years. Business was good and I decided it was time to open an actual shop, and I’ve been here now for about a year.” Offering mechanical and technical service for just about any import under the sun, as well as body and paint, RC has managed to make a name for himself in a relatively short amount of time. “There’s still quite a bit to do, like finishing the website and all of that, but I’m busy working on customers’ cars right now—that’s what it’s all about.”
To contact RC, search “RCsGarage” (one word) on Facebook or firstname.lastname@example.org.